We are joining a number of employers, including other FTSE 100 companies and small businesses, in signing the government’s Disability Confident campaign pledge.
Through businesses and government working together in partnership, Disability Confident is creating opportunities for disabled people to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations.
By signing the pledge we are reaffirming our commitment in supporting disabled people to find employment. A prime example of this is our EmployAbility internship programme, introduced in September 2013, which offers young disabled people supported work experience to help achieve a successful transition into permanent work.
The EmployAbility programme has been hugely successful for both National Grid and all of the interns on the programme. We have shared a case study of one of our graduated interns, Taurai Horton, to demonstrate the business benefits of supporting such a programme and unlocking the potential of young disabled people. Read about Taurai’s ‘life-changing’ experience.
Emma FitzGerald, Director of Gas Distribution, said: “We’d encourage all businesses to sign up to the Disability Confident campaign and run schemes like EmployAbility. Our experience is that colleagues with disabilities add real value and, having often overcome significant barriers in their personal life, demonstrate perseverance and a strong ability to manage challenges in the business environment.
They are role models to us all in really grasping the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Not only do we have competent, engaged, committed young people working with us, but also our existing employees gain greater disability confidence and a real sense of pride that they’re working for a company that offers these kinds of opportunities.”
Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, said: “I am delighted to announce that National Grid is the latest employer to sign up to the government’s Disability Confident campaign. This demonstrates their commitment to employ disabled people to contribute to their business success”.
We have made great strides in supporting disabled people into work with 3.1 million now in employment, an increase of 141,000 over the past year. However, there is still more that can be done and the support of employers like National Grid is invaluable.
EmployAbility is a key programme for Enabling, National Grid’s Disability Employee Resource Group. The programme is currently running in Warwick and Hinckley and will be extended to the Solihull and Wokingham sites in September.
In addition to EmployAbility, Enabling is focusing on the theme of Disability Confidence and will be running a number of awareness events this year to increase the disability confidence of our employees.
In the summer there will be a focus on Hearing loss and in the autumn the focus will be on Dyslexia. If you are interested in supporting either of these awareness events, please email the enabling mailbox (.firstname.lastname@example.org).